Another week another Australian winner on the PGA Tour. This time its Matt Jones winning in extraordinary fashion in Houston.
Last September, Matt Jones had an 8-foot birdie putt to get himself into the final FedEx Cup event and a spot in the 2014 Masters. Looking for all the world like it was going to drop into the hole, the ball cruelly lipped out sending Jones out of the playoffs and giving him a spare weekend in April.
Jones abolished those memories with a dramatic win at the Houston Open, making it the second consecutive week that an Australian has won on the PGA Tour and the fourth this year.
This was Jones’ maiden PGA Tour victory and what a victory it was.
A 40-foot double-breaking putt for birdie on the last hole of regulation got him into the clubhouse on 15-under and had to wait to see what Kuchar would do on the same hole. Jones had told his caddie they would birdie the hole and see what eventuates.
“When I know what I have to do, I seem to be able to pull it off moreso, especially playing golf with my friends, too.” Jones said. “If I have to birdie to beat them, it’s somehow I do it. It was nice to be able to do it on this stage.”
“I was going to 3-putt before I left it short. I didn’t care about finishing 2nd or 3rd or 4th, it didn’t matter. I was only trying to get the win.”
Kuchar then sent his approach shot into the water from the middle of the fairway that meant he needed to get up and down to force a playoff with Jones. He did so in style but Kuchar suffered a similar problem on the first playoff hole.
After Jones had found the fairway bunker and laid up short of the green with his second shot, Kuchar was once again standing in the middle of the fairway with a chance to win the tournament. But the lanky American once again missed the green, this time finding the green side bunker.
The ever confident Jones then told his caddie he would hole the chip shot before doing exactly that. His chip shot carried over the bunker and fed up beautifully to the hole before dropping in. Kuchar failed to hole his bunker shot that was needed to extend the playoff and Jones was heading to the Masters.
“My chipping has been pretty good for awhile. It’s kind of a shot I’ve been practicing all over, a skipping one that checks and releases.” Jones said. “So, it was nice to get in the playoff with that putt, to get in the playoff and to hit that chip to win was quite nice.”
Jones has always refused to go to The Masters until he earned a spot in the field but will be heading up Magnolia Lane tomorrow.
“I’ve always said I would never go until I won or I earned my way there.” Jones said. “I’m happy to be able to go there.”
“Hopefully I’ll get on a flight tonight and sleep in the car if I have to.”